Trademark Registration in Japan
Japan presents a significant growth opportunity since it provides access to one of the
largest markets in Asia and the entire world. Small and medium-sized venture enterprises are
the main drivers of Japan's industrial competitiveness. Japan uses the "First-to-File"
approach to protect trademarks, even if branded goods or services have not yet been offered
there. Therefore, before going globally, any company that wants to brand its products and
give protection first registers its trademark in Japan.
A trademark is a distinctive sign, logo, expression, symbol, design, or brand name used to
distinguish a product or service from those of rivals. Therefore, trademark registration in
Japan is beneficial for individuals who want to start a business there and need to protect
their brand in order to compete in the Japanese market. Our top-notch trademark registration
specialists in Japan can help you register a trademark as quickly and easily as possible at
a very reasonable cost.
Legal Framework for Trademarks in Japan
The Trademark Act of 1959 established the legislative foundation for trademark registration
in Japan and also adopted a first-to-file basis for trademark protection.
If you have a trademark registration in Japan, it was utilized to protect your brands and
also to maintain commercial confidence for the appropriate development of the industry.
Requirements for Trademark Registration in Japan
Any character, figure, sign, three-dimensional shape, as well as a combination, may
be selected for trademark registration in Japan to compete against commercial
If you have a trademark registration in Japan, the proposed trademark must be used in
conjunction with products made by a business or individual provider.
Unless it is used in conjunction with goods or services or is only a mark that
signifies a common way or name, any original trademark can be registered.
When a trademark is the same as or similar to a national flag, United Nations symbol,
international organization symbol, or medal, or when it is similar to another
trademark registration application that was submitted to the Japanese authorities at
an earlier time, trademark registration in Japan is not permitted.
When a trademark has the potential to confuse consumers about the source of the goods
or services or to deceive them about the caliber of the products or services, it
cannot be registered.
General Steps for Registering a Trademark in Japan
The owner has the sole right to use a trademark anywhere in Japan, and the usual process to
register a trademark in Japan is as follows:
Filling out an application for trademark registration that includes a trademark
representation is the first stage along with submission of documents with
registration fees. The Japan Patent Office then publishes the unexamined application
in the Official Gazette.
Examining the trademark registration application form is the next step, which entails
two examination phases, one for a substantive examination and another for reviewing
the formal and procedural requirements to obtain trademark registration in Japan.
Refusal or Acceptance
For trademark registration in Japan, the applicant may get either a Notification of
Reasons for Refusal or a Decision of Registration following consideration of the
Published in the Trademark Journal
Following the aforementioned procedures, if the trademark application is approved,
the trademark is published in the trademark journal before being registered and
published in the Trademark Gazette for potential third-party objection. Any person
may appeal the decision to register a trademark by filing an opposition with the
Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office.
Issuing of Trademark Registration Certificate
The Japanese Patent Office will grant its permission before issuing a certificate of
trademark registration for your company.
Japanese Trademark Registration Validity
In Japan, trademark registration is good for 10 years from the date of registration and can
be extended for an additional 10 years before it expires. Both the original registration and
the renewal process can be helped with by our experts.